The Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Ginseng
Ginseng has been known to boost energy, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reduce stress, promote relaxation, treat diabetes, and manage sexual dysfunction in men.
Most of the time when you read about “Ginseng”, it often refer to both American (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian or Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng), which belong to the genus Panax and have a somewhat similar chemical makeup. Both Asian and American ginseng contain ginsenosides, which are the substances thought to give ginseng its medicinal properties. But they contain different types in different amounts.
Siberian ginseng, or Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus), is an entirely different plant with different effects. It is distantly related to ginseng, but it does not contain the same active ingredients.
Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Ginseng
- Ginseng has been shown to help reduce inflammatory markers and help protect against oxidative stress.
- Ginseng has been shown to benefit mental functions, feelings of calmness and mood in both healthy people and those with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Ginseng may improve symptoms of erectile dysfunction by decreasing oxidative stress in tissues and enhancing blood flow.
- Ginseng may strengthen the immune system in people with cancer and even enhance the effects of certain vaccinations.
- Ginsenosides in ginseng seem to regulate inflammation, provide antioxidant protection and maintain the health of cells, which could help decrease the risk of certain kinds of cancer.
- Ginseng may help fight fatigue and enhance physical activity by lowering oxidative damage and increasing energy production in cells.
- Ginseng, particularly fermented red ginseng, may help increase insulin production, enhance blood sugar uptake in cells and provide antioxidant protection.
Ginseng root can be consumed in many ways. It can be eaten raw or you can lightly steam it to soften it. Most often ginseng can be purchased in various dried form, whole root, sliced or coarse ground. To which you can seep a small amount in hot water to make a tea, or added to various recipes like soups and stir-frys. Ginseng can also be consumed as a powder, capsule or extract. How much you should take depends on the condition you want to improve.
Overall, daily doses of 1–2 grams of raw ginseng root or 200–400 mg of extract are suggested. It’s best to start with lower doses and increase over time.
While ginseng appears to be safe in general, people taking certain medications should pay attention to possible drug interactions. If you're pregnant, breastfeeding, or have other medical conditions, please consult your health care provider for more information.
Read more about the benefits of Ginseng on our Clinical Studies page.
American ginseng. (n.d.). Mount Sinai. Retrieved March 7, 2022, from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/967.html
American Ginseng. (n.d.-b). Medline Plus. Retrieved March 7, 2022, from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/967.html
Nordqvist, J. (2021, May 16). What are the health benefits of ginseng? Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/262982